Static Front

Transcript

Anchor: Between June 1950 and June 1951, the Korean peninsula changes hands several times.

Barely a month after crossing the 38th Parallel, the North Koreans have taken over all of South Korea, except for the small United Nations bastion of Busan. As more and more UN allied troops arrive, the tide begins to turn. Seoul, South Korea's capital is retaken and a UN controlled corridor is opened between Seoul and Busan, cutting off North Korea's supply lines. The North Koreans lose all their gains and the war is back to square one: the 38th Parallel. Soon, the North Korean capital of Pyongyang is taken and the American-led United Nation troops are so far into North Korea that the Chinese border is in sight. But the Cold War is gaining momentum throughout the world. Threatened by the presence of the 'American Forces' at their doorstep, communist China moves in to help the North Koreans. UN forces are pushed back south of the 38th Parallel. Seoul falls yet again to the North but is retaken a second time by the South.

In March 1951, things slowly grind to a halt. Most Canadians arrive then, during the stalemate, causing some frustration amongst the men.

Arthur St-Pierre: In Korea, we took up our positions and that's where we stayed. We advanced a little now and then, but never enough to gain much ground.
(Soldiers on lookout)

Noel Knockwood: They established what is called a static front, meaning that the front remained constant. It did not advance either way. The enemy did not advance and we did not advance.

Luther Ferguson: Our duties were primarily to maintain a line.
(Tank in position)
(Solider on the lookout)

Raymond Tremblay: We stayed there. We never advanced.

Roland Boutot: We got kind of annoyed, asking one another if they were making fun of us and if we were really at war. We thought they'd played a trick on us, that they'd just sent us there to train for war, if there ever was one.
(Soldiers taking cover from shellfire)

Luther Ferguson: We were static. It was trench warfare.


Did you know ...

21 RCAF pilots serve with US Air Force squadrons in Korea.

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